I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed after our defeat to Bangalore. We let ourselves down with poor shot selection towards the end of our chase. I was especially disappointed with myself because I left it to the others to finish the game. It took me back to the India-England game in the 2006 Champions Trophy in Jaipur. We were chasing a modest total on that occasion, too, and I got out with the target some distance away. I had promised myself at the time that I would not get out at that juncture of a game again. Eighteen months later, the same thing happened, and we lost the game as well.
<b1>Bangalore have been struggling even though they have class batsmen and bowlers. Anil Kumble was in fine form and he proved that he was and will remain a class bowler. It does not matter what anybody says after just a few bad games, but guys like Kumble are always a threat to the opposition. Besides, bowling is a team effort and you cannot single out one bowler if the rest do not deliver.
I would not like to dwell too much on bygones, and we will have to win one more game if we are to get into the semifinals. I know that we will automatically qualify if Mumbai beat Delhi on Sunday, but we want to be in the final four by dint of our own efforts. The best result in the forthcoming games would be in the form of proof that we have learnt something from our mistakes. It's been a long tournament with plenty of ups and downs, but if the team has learnt something from the losses, it would be a healthy sign.
We encounter table toppers Rajasthan on Saturday and it will be a tough game. They are a good side but if we stick to our plans and execute them well rather than try something new, we will do well. I don't think there is anything like home advantage in Twenty20 cricket, so we will have to be on top of our game to do well I have no special plans for Shane Warne either, and if I stick to the basics I will be able to play him.
Speaking of home advantage, I am very happy to see that the Chepauk crowds have been very appreciative of good cricket from the opposition as well. They cheer loudly when the visitors tonk sixes or take wickets, and have appreciated good cricket from the first game itself. It makes me very proud to represent such a city and hopefully the crowds will continue to be well behaved.
The latest media 'scoop' about me buying a flat in Chennai is not true. I was quite surprised to hear about it because I have been too busy with cricket to think of anything else. As of now, my only residential address is in Ranchi.